By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
North Attleborough is among several towns that will receive a state grant to address higher levels of PFAS found in the public water supply.
According to a press release issued by State Rep. Adam Scanlon, $1.28 million has been issued to 12 public water supplies to address elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). North Attleborough will receive a grant funding totaling $150,000 to procure, install, and maintain water vending units to mitigate this.
In October, the Town Council approved $5.2 million in funding for the design and construction of equipment to remove PFAS from the town’s water supply at the Adamsdale Well and designs for similar upgrades to the McKeon Well, along with the installation of fluoride injection systems.
“This grant will bolster North Attleborough’s efforts to combat contamination in our local bodies of water. PFAS has imposed significant strains on our local resources, but we have remained vigilant in our efforts to promote public health and protect our environment,” said Scanlon in the release. “This funding allows our community to continue improving our water quality, and not only ensures the safety of our residents, but also the preservation of local natural resources. I am so grateful for the wonderful collaboration between the Commonwealth, our office, and our local officials on this important project.”
The Department of Public Works issued a notice in late July following the discovery of contaminants above acceptable levels. The notice stated that the town’s water system violated a new standard set by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Issued last October, the standard for PFAS6 was set at at 20 nanograms per liter.
Monthly sampling at the McKeon Water Treatment Plant on Mark Kennedy Drive showed it to have an average of 22.5 from April through June
Pregnant or nursing women, infants, and those with compromised immune systems are advised not to consume, drink, or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above 20 ng/L. Drinking water at a level above the 20 nanogram level does not necessarily mean that a person will get sick. This is because this is based on a level that is safe to drink for an entire lifetime.
PFAS compounds are a family of chemicals widely used since the 1950s to manufacture common consumer products and used in some legacy fire-fighting foams. Drinking water may become contaminated if PFAS deposited onto the soil seeps into groundwater or surface water. PFAS have been linked to a variety of health risks, particularly in women who are pregnant or nursing, and in infants.